If you really want to know how to take care of your skin, look to the personal skincare routines of the industry's leading dermatologists. After all, what these experts do to (or put on) their skin has to be integral to creating a healthy, glowing complexion—they're professionals in their fields and rely on scientifically proven studies to decide what works and what doesn't. (No trendy, slap-in-the-pan ingredients or tricks here.) This is exactly why we reached out to several of these professionals to see what steps they'd never skip in their own skincare regimens. Spoiler alert: One must-do that got top marks, unsurprisingly? Religious application of sunscreen. Ahead, more things dermatologists always do to their skin.
Getty / Artem Varnitsin
Only use eye cream on the eye area.
"The eyelid skin is the thinnest and most delicate on that part of the body," says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a New York City dermatologist, which is why she uses a specialized cream to target that area, alone. Thicker creams meant for the face and body can weigh down that delicate skin or cause irritation.
Double cleanse with micellar water.
According to Dr. Jaliman, double cleansing with micellar water "helps to take off every last bit of makeup after washing my face." It may be an added step, but it's gentle and doesn't require an additional rinse.
Use retinol regularly.
Dr. Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group notes that treating skin with retinol on a regular basis is "incredibly important." The expert uses a prescription-strength retinoid a few times a week to prevent wrinkles, help with pigmentation, and even her skin tone.
Apply sunscreen every single morning.
"Every morning, I use sunscreen on my face and exposed areas," Farber says. "I'm a fan of the Revision Intellishade TruPhysical ($75, amazon.com) for daily use and the La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral ($36.99, ulta.com) for warmer weather." Unsurprisingly, this is something that nearly every dermatologist told us. Adds Dr. Dendy Engelman: "Incidental sun exposure for only ten to fifteen minutes a day adds up over time and can cause significant sun damage."
Make minute anti-aging tweaks along the way.
Whether you plan on combating the aging process with injectables, medical-grade peels (they promote cell turnover!), or a mix of both, it's important to be consistent with your in-office treatments, so that they have a greater effect over time. "I am on a regular schedule for my skincare treatments to make sure I can keep making small adjustments to age gracefully, not helplessly," says Dr. Doris Day.
Protect with antioxidant serums.
"I always use an antioxidant vitamin C serum. I like SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF ($166, dermstore.com)," says Dr. Robin Gymrek, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. Vitamin C not only helps prevent environmental aging from free radicals, but also brightens the skin.
Gently exfoliate with a Clarisonic.
The key word here is gently—using a Clarisonic ($99, sephora.com) is something Gmyrek does every night after taking her makeup off to ensure that every last particle of dirt, debris, and makeup has been cleansed from her pores.